german

Georg Trakl

Georg Trakl (1887 – 1914) was born in Salzburg, Austria, and seems to have been suicidal in childhood. As an extremely young child, he threw himself first in front of a galloping horse and then in front of a train. When both of those suicide attempts failed, he tried drowning himself in a lake and was rescued only when someone noticed his hat floating away. His adolescence and adulthood were marked by bouts of serious mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, a supposed incestuous relationship with his sister, and near-constant failure.

 

The Rats

english translation

The Rats

original German poem

Die Ratten

In Hof scheint weiß der herbstliche Mond.
Vom Dachrand fallen phantastische Schatten.
Ein Schweigen in leeren Fenstern wohnt;
Da tauchen leise herauf die Ratten

Und huschen pfeifend hier und dort
Und ein gräulicher Dunsthauch wittert
Ihnen nach aus dem Abort,
Den geisterhaft der Mondschein durchzittert

Und sie keifen vor Gier wie toll
Und erfüllen Haus und Scheunen,
Die von Korn und Früchten voll.
Eisige Winde im Dunkel greinen.

 

Jay Hopler

Jay Hopler’s poetry, essays, and translations have appeared most recently, or are forthcoming, in Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation, Interim, Plume, and The Literary Review. Green Squall, his first book of poetry, won the 2005 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His most recent book is Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (edited with Kimberly Johnson, Yale University Press, 2013). The recipient of numerous honors including fellowships and awards from the Great Lakes Colleges Association, the Lannan Foundation, the Mrs.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926) born René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke, understood the power of words. At a lover’s urging, he changed his name to Rainer, which he thought sounded more masculine. He is probably the best-known 20th-century German-language poet, best known for his Duino Elegies, his Sonnets to Orpheus, and his New Poems. In the Duino Elegies—his most important work—and his other poems, Rilke combined knowledge of classical literature with a mystical sense of existence and religion.

 

Two Are Four

Two Are Four

          Original English Poem
          by Turner Cassity

Night without attribute,
To which you bring all elements in turn:
Air intermittent in your throat;
Earth errant in your heart.
Bright water where your wet lips part
For fire I bring you, even as you burn.

 


 

Christophe Fricker

Christophe Fricker is the German translator of Edgar Bowers, Dick Davis, Timothy Steele, Joshua Mehigan, and other formalist poets. He is the author of one book of poetry, Das schöne Auge des Betrachters (The Beautiful Eye of the Beholder) which appeared with Johannes Frank in Berlin in 2008 and was awarded the Hermann Hesse Förderpreis 2009. His collection of travel writing, Larkin Terminal, appeared in 2009. Both books deal with linkages between friendship, travel, and language. Included in Larkin Terminal are essays on three formalist poets.

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